Let’s talk about prodromes

When *all I suffered from was classic migraine, I didn’t do much research. I thought migraines were a regular part of life.

So prodromes remained a condrome, er, conundrum to me. It happens that one of my prodromes is irritability. I didn’t realize this for some time. I’d have a snappy day and everyone would assume I had a headache. The next day it would hit me hard. It was with some relief that I was able to blame my meanness on something other than myself! I also get periods of fatigue, increased yawning, and cravings when a severe headache is coming. Unfortunately, with a constant headache, I often have these symptoms anyways.

Prodromes are a typical part of migraines for many sufferers. Research shows that more than half of all migraine sufferers experience prodromes. They may show up more than a day before the pain itself hits. If you recognize it, it can act as an early warning system.

Irritability is only one of a long list of possible symptoms. (Further evidence that migraine is more than just a headache.) Other notable prodromes are:

  • Fatigue
  • Cravings or loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Excitability
  • Constipation or diarhea
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Yawning
  • Light or sound sensitivity
  • Restlessness

Some of these are symptoms migraineurs  experience during headaches as well. Learning to recognize your prodromes, if you get them, can help you in your headache treatment. As with so many migraine related things, keeping a journal can help you identify your prodromes. With some practice, you might even be able to pinpoint just when that massive headache is going to hit, giving you time to get to abortive meds and a nice soft bed.

With my current constant headache, I haven’t found any patterns with what might be prodrome symptoms. The irritability and fatigue that once warned me of an incoming headache are often present without worsening pain and throughout severe pain. Perhaps I should take my own advice and pick up paper and pen again.

*I say all here, not to take migraines lightly. It is not a disease I would wish upon anyone. I say all to highlight the fact that I would gladly trade my current situation for classic migraine.


2 thoughts on “Let’s talk about prodromes

  1. Art says:

    That’s a really good post. I hope a lot of people will read it.

  2. stillstrange says:

    Maybe that explains why I have 1-2 good days for every 3-4 bad but it doesn’t explain how to stop it. I am getting to my wits end on that one.

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